Lydia was referred to Anchor Center at three years old, due to Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). When she first started at Anchor Center, Lydia was unsure and timid…and so was her family. “It was the first place she had really spent time outside our home and we were so nervous to let others care for her,” recalls Lydia’s mom, Danae.
But they soon noticed that the Anchor Center staff was acutely attuned to Lydia’s subtle cues and was genuinely interested in learning how to best support her. It helped her family to feel comfortable and confident in allowing Lydia to become immersed in the Anchor Center experience.
“What we didn’t know before enrolling,” recalls Danae, “is that Anchor Center offers so much more than vision therapy. The vision services are what brought us in, but the accessible garden, motor room, music room, literacy room and art room gave a much broader range of experiences to Lydia than we were expecting.”
Soon, Lydia was communicating her favorite aspects of Anchor Center – smelling the thyme plants in the garden, riding in the red wagon down the hallways, playing the piano with her feet, and enjoying treats on friends’ birthdays.
Now a preschooler who will graduate this spring, Lydia has come to recognize Anchor Center as a safe place – a place of joy, where new experiences offer excitement instead of fear. “As soon as we enter the lobby she sits up a little straighter in her chair and she starts to wiggle her arms in excitement. Sometimes she even gives a big smile,” says Danae.
In fact, Lydia has thrived so much that this year her family enrolled her in an additional preschool program in their local school district. Danae credits Anchor Center’s teachers and therapists with helping her, as a parent, understand how to help Lydia “work on her vision, but also how to interact with the smells, textures, sounds and tastes of her world. And to be patient.”